As we move through Advent and toward the 3rd Sunday, or Gaudate Sunday, we want to rejoice. But sometimes our doubts get in the way of our belief system! William Barry, SJ, offers the following thoughts from his book, A Friendship Like No Other.
Sometimes the facts of the Incarnation are beyond our comprehension…a GOD come to earth! We think, impossible! WHY? HOW? We wonder if Advent and the fuss of Christmas is really true; we find it a very difficult part of our faith. This passage from Sr.Ignatius of Loyola has helped me with this stumbling block when praying.
St. Ignatius of Loyola, SJ, tells of how his imagination brought this image of the incarnation to him: “In the sixth month the angle Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth. “(Lk 1:26)
Reflecting on these words and using his imagination, Ignatius imagined a conversation in heaven in which the trinity looks down on the whole world and seeing it is such sad shape that he decides to send the Son. He sees those on the earth, so diverse in dress & behavior; some white and others black, some in peace and others at war, some weeping and others laughing, some healthy and others sick, some being born and others dying.
Then he saw and considered the three Divine Persons, seated, so to speak, on the royal canopied throne of Their Divine Majesty. They are gazing on the whole face of the earth; and they see all peoples in such great blindness and how they are dying and gong down to hell.
Ignatius sees Our Lady and the angel greeting her. He reflects on this to draw some grace from it.
Ignatius then invites the prayer to listen to what the people are saying and consider what they are doing. I encourage you to try it and see what happens to your prayer and your celebration of Advent.